{ Co-designed and fisher-driven ICTs towards transformation of small-scale fisheries governance, ‘from hook to cook}

The ABALOBI initiative is an open, transdisciplinary and social learning endeavour, bringing together various stakeholders, with traditional fishers taking centre stage. ABALOBI, as a mobile app suite and programme, is aimed at social justice and poverty alleviation in the small-scale fisheries chain, transformation in the way we produce knowledge, stewardship of our marine resources, and resilience building in the face of climate change.

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Many of our team members, including the small-scale fishers of South Africa, were integrally involved in the design of South Africa’s new Small-Scale Fisheries Policy, which emanated from a Constitutional Court Order and international human and fishing rights obligations. ABALOBI brings us together as an extension of our research, advocacy and policy work, and launches us into implementation and co-operative governance.
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{ Working towards good governance and embracing a human-rights-based approach to fisheries: Through the development of an integrated small-scale fisheries information management system and mobile app suite, the ABALOBI initiative aims to enable small-scale fishing communities to be incorporated into information and resource networks: from fishery monitoring and maritime safety, to local development and market opportunities }

ABALOBI, isiXhosa for small-scale fisher, is the name given to the app suite by small-scale fisherfolk involved in the co-development process


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    Promoting stewardship

    Fishers encouraged to serve as custodians and promote sustainability. Allows opportunity for integration with conservation efforts.

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    Empowerment in the value chain

    Working towards community-supported fisheries and traceable slowfish. Empowerment through market information and collective action.

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    Co-operative fisheries governance

    Using a common knowledge base, based on fishers’ daily data, all stakeholders at the co-management table are poised equally.

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    Ecosystems approach to fisheries

    Decisions by fishers and other stakeholders can be based on ecological and social indicators.

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    Climate change adaptation

    Improved safety at sea and resilience building in the face of climate change.

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    Enabling tool for policy implementation

    Small-Scale Fisheries Policy (South Africa) and UN-FAO Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (International)

{ What started as a participatory action research project with a strong community development interface, has evolved into a social enterprise that is now being registered as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and public benefit entity to better serve its fisher-driven mission }

Transdisciplinary research

Stakeholders work together in framing the problem and research needs, leading to the co-design of the tool based on input and tests in real-life contexts.

Co-design and fisher-driven process

Ensures data ownership and trust. Practical development and implementation within a bottom-up, participatory framework. Focus on product, process and enabling policy.

Open source & free for small-scale fishers

Leveraging the latest tech and open source platforms. Sharing innovations globally.

Recognition of fishers’ knowledge

Bridging local knowledge with science and policy. Developing knowledge for co-management.

ICT4D for small-scale fisheries: The ABALOBI initiative is about catalysing real transformation, of knowledge generation, of people, and of resource governance


The ABALOBI app suite comprises five inter-connected apps – conceptualised in a co-design process and currently in various stages of development and testing. The five apps cover the full spectrum of stakeholders in the small-scale fisheries sector from hook to cook, governance and beyond. Learn more …


The foundation of the app suite where fishers co–produce knowledge. Personal logbook with sharing options. Safety-at-sea integrations. More ...


Digitised community catch monitoring at the landing site & along the shoreline. More ...


Real-time fishery data & communications for co-management. More ...


Co-operative member & fleet management. Collective & transparent accounting. Catch value-adding. More ...


Fish with an ecological & social ‘story‘. Towards community-supported fisheries. Empowerment in the value chain. More ...

International reach

Beyond South Africa: An open source approach to the development of the ABALOBI platform seeks to allow customisation and use by small-scale fisheries stakeholders worldwide, aligned with the implementation of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO’s) Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries.


Aligned with the United Nations SDGs


Founding partners


Get involved

We are seeking to expand our partnerships and procure additional funding for the continued development of ABALOBI. We welcome expressions of interest from prospective funders and research, technology & implementation partners ...

In the news


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“Ek kom uit ‘n tradisionele visser familie. Ek is ‘n vierde geslag visser. Visvang was nog altyd deel van ons huishouding. Ons vang nogsteeds vis en kreef soos ons vaders ons geleer het. Visvang toerusting het verander, maar nie die manier van visvang nie. Dit is beter om op die see as land te werk. Visvang gee my ‘n innerlike vrede. Dit is my tradisie en ek is geleer om mededeelsaam te wees en om minderbevoorregtes in ons gemeenskap van vis te voorsien.”

{“I come from a family of traditional fishers. I’m a fourth-generation fisher. Fishing has always been a part of our household. We still catch fish and rock lobster like our forefathers taught us. Fishing gear has changed, but not the method of fishing. It is better to work at sea than on land. Fishing brings me an inner peace. It is my tradition, and I was taught to be compassionate and share fish with the less fortunate in our community.”}
// Wat beteken die ABALOBI #fromhooktocook beweging vir jou? – what does the ABALOBI ‘from hook to cook’ initiative mean to you? //
“Met ABALOBI, is dit ‘n baie beter proses as wat ons aan gewoond is. Ons verwerk nou ons vis, sit dit op ys en voorsien dit aan die restaurant. Die waarde van ons vis het handomkeer verander wat beteken ons lewens is tot beter verander.”
{“With ABALOBI it is a much better process than that to which we are accustomed. Now we process our fish, put it on ice, and supply it to the restaurant. The value of our fish has changed entirely, which means our lives have changed for the better.”}
Wilfred Consalves, #Lambertsbaai
#fishwithastory #traceablefish #storiedfish #storiedseafood #slowfish #fishers #fisherfolk #smallscalefishing #smallscalefisheries #traceability #responsiblefish #fairfish
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Who fishes matters || “Fishing is my culture. My healthy diet. It is not only my income, but satisfies an inner hunger within me. It helps me to relax; it sets my soul free. To see the dolphins, the whales and different birds out at sea makes one feel very close to heaven...” – David Shoshola, #smallscalefisher in #Lambertsbaai #SouthAfrica

David has been instrumental in the co-development of ABALOBI and was the first #fisher to pilot the #fromhooktocook initiative 🙌🏽🐟 - supplying the restaurant sector with responsible, socially fair #storiedseafood ...

#fisherfolk #fishwithastory #hooktocook #whofishesmatters #smallscalefisheries #abalobi #traceablefish #lowimpactfishing #fairfish #slowfish
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This week we welcome colleagues from Naturskyddsföreningen for a think-tank on #genderequity, #genderequality & #gendermainstreaming in #smallscalefisheries through the lens of co-developed, community-owned ICTs.

We’re asking the question: How can we promote socially just, gender-equitable small-scale fisheries using #ICT4Fisheries? Or more specifically: How can ABALOBI incorporate gender-targeted activities in order to best represent the multiplicity of roles played by #womeninfisheries?

This timely publication by the FAO serves as an excellent back-drop: 👉 bit.ly/2C9heX6
“Effective implementation of the Small-scale Fisheries Guidelines ... will require the adoption of a gender transformative approach that recognizes the diversity of experiences among women and the different root causes of gender injustice and inequality ... ”

#abalobi #fromhooktocook
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From hook to cook – traceable, storied seafood by empowered small-scale fishers ...

Another batch of fair, responsible #fishwithastory from the Lambertsbaai #smallscalefisher collective landed in the capable culinary hands of Chef Kerry Kilpin at Bistro sixteen82 @ Steenberg Vineyards Estate this morning via ABALOBI MARKETPLACE ...

#fromhooktocook #restaurantsupportedfishery #abalobi #fairfish #responsiblefish #storiedseafood

SASSI, Steenberg
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